Development of muscle mass and body fat reference curves for white male UK firefighters

Lessons, Greg Richard, Bhakta, Dee and McCarthy, H. David (2021) Development of muscle mass and body fat reference curves for white male UK firefighters. International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health. ISSN 0340-0131 (In Press)

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00420-021-01761-4

Abstract / Description

Objective
This study describes the development of the world’s first suite of firefighter body composition centile reference curves which can be used as both academic research tools and clinical references, to plot and track individual firefighter skeletal muscle mass (SMM) and fat mass (FM) measurements against the representative reference sample.

Methods
The body composition of 497 white male London (England) firefighters was measured by anthropometry and bioelectrical impedance analysis. Smoothed centile curves were then generated for skeletal muscle mass index (SMMI), fat mass index (FMI), body fat percentage (BF%) and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR).

Results
Between 48 and 62 years, firefighter SMMI is greater than the UK white male age-matched general population by a mean of 0.35 units, although SMMI declines 0.006 units/years faster in firefighters between these ages. This is estimated to translate to a mean decline of approximately 0.6% of absolute SMM per year. Between 40 and 49 years, firefighter FMI is 0.1 units greater than the UK white male age-matched general population, which becomes identical (7 units) between 50 and 54 years. At the 50th centile, WHtR exceeds 0.5 by 39 years reaching 0.55 at 62 years. This contrasts with FMI which remains stable from 47 years.

Conclusion
Firefighters in this study possess greater FM and SMM compared with the UK general population. SMM appears to decline rapidly within older age ranges. These references offer a novel improvement upon the limitations of BMI and BF% for the benefit of an occupational group at elevated risk of cardiovascular disease.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: firefighters; skeletal muscle mass; adiposity; obesity; bioelectrical impedance analysis; centile curves
Subjects: 600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
Department: School of Human Sciences
Depositing User: Dee Bhakta
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2021 09:13
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2021 09:13
URI: http://repository.londonmet.ac.uk/id/eprint/7048

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